Monday, 13 December 2010

Wrong priorities

An extraordinary - and rather obscene - juxtapostition in the media fall-out after the 9th December's fees protest:

Whilst it has been reported - although without any particular sense of burning outrage - that Alfie Meadows was truncheoned by the riot police and required brain surgery, focus is still on that incident when the royals found themselves in the middle of the protest and their car got a bit man-handled.

Never mind the outrageous revelation that police at Charing Cross Hospital tried to prevent Alfie from being treated and that he may well have died had it not been for the insistence of an ambulance paramedic. The Home Secretary has confirmed that in the royal incident  'contact' was made by a protester with the Duchess of Cornwall, and she may even - it is said in hushed tones - of been poked with a stick.

Resisting the temptation to crack funny about Camilla and barge-poles, I'm struck by this popular obsession with the sanctity of the royal personage. Touching a royal,  or in certain circumstances looking at one inappropriately, was once sufficient to warrant a death sentence (conversely a royal laying on of hands was thought to have healing powers). Not so long ago Aussie premier Paul Keating caused outrage when he put his arm around the queen. Maybe the divine right of kings is alive and well after all. 

There's  certainly an  obsession with the symbols of authority - notice the emphasis in recording how posh-boy protester Charlie Gilmour didn't just make a prat of himself - he actually swung on the union flag

Climbing on the cenotaph and re-decorating Churchill's statue are always going to be PR-home goals, but the real and  lasting damage and offence to society caused is nothing in comparison to what is being done by these cuts. And it's hard to believe that those who died in the war against Fascism ever envisaged that paramilitary police would be kicking shit out of their great grand-children right outside the 'mother of parliaments'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What goes around, comes around, in 1795 that old fraud Gillray brilliantly captured the moment when George III was caught in a demonstation in the days of the London Corresponding Society.....